Oct 26, 2014

Long-Term Care Insurers want to know your family health history

If you apply for long-term care insurance, can the carrier ask about your family's medical history? You bet it can. Unlike health insurance companies,  long-term care carriers are not prohibited by the Affordable Care Act from asking about your family's health history. And you can count on them asking more and more of those questions.

According to a September 12 report in Financial Advisor, long-term care insurance carriers are placing increasing importance on your family medical history to determine if, and at what premium, you will be insured. Of particular interest to the carriers, according to Genworth, is whether a parent had early onset coronary artery disease before age 60, or dementia prior to age 70, because of the potential genetic links in both conditions. 

If you find yourself disqualified from a traditional long-term care policy for this or any other reason, you might want to look into the new "hybrid" policies that have come to market in recent years. These  hybrids are basically riders that can be added to life insurance policies and annuities. Hybrids often have lower underwriting standards than traditional policies. In some cases you may not even have to pay anything to add the rider. Also, if you end up not filing a claim, you or your family may be entitled to the funds. Check out my overview of hybrid policies.

While my law firm can often help you preserve assets by securing Medicaid benefits and/or Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits if you require long-term care in the future, I advise all my clients to look into buying long-term care insurance. The cost of a nursing home in South Florida has now ticked up to about $9,000 per month! Obviously it is better for your peace of mind - and your family's, too - to be prepared in advance and to know that you are insured.  The younger you are when you apply, the more likely you are to be insured, and the lower your premiums will be.

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